Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake

Sunday, January 1, 2012
File this one into the category of, "I can't believe I actually made something this amazing".

I am not a baker, or a professional chef. If I can make this, anyone can!!  Sure, it's time consuming but if you want to make something impressive and over-the-top tasty good, try this recipe!  Oh also make it one day ahead to let the flavors mix n mingle and settle in together.  

Special Tools Needed:  food processor, coffee grinder, 10-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides (a.k.a: a "cheesecake pan") , electric or stand mixer, pastry bag (or use a Ziploc bag), and a small star tip.  You'll also need some patience and some time. Prep + chilling time is over 3 hours. Final Chill is at least 6 hours - so don't go making this a few hours before you need to arrive at Aunt Margaret's pot luck supper!

1 9-ounce box chocolate wafer cookies
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
7-8 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

Chocolate Ganache
1 1/2 cups whipping cream or heavy cream
20 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips / or bars, chopped
1/4 cup coffee-flavored liqueur (I used Starbucks but you can use  KahlĂșa  or any other type) 

4  8-ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature ( I like Philly the best but use whatever kind you like)
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp dark rum (I used Myers but you can use any dark rum...take a sip while you're at it. Makes cooking more fun!)
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
2 tbsp ground whole espresso coffee beans (medium-coarse grind)
1 tbsp vanilla
2 teaspoons light molasses
4 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla 



Finely grind up the cookies, chocolate, brown sugar, and nutmeg in a food processor. Add the melted butter and process until crumbs begin to stick together, scraping down bowl occasionally. This will be about a minute.  

Transfer the crumb mixture to your springform pan. Press crumb mixture firmly up sides to within 1/2 inch of top edge, then over bottom of pan. ( Wrap your fingers with plastic wrap to make it easier... or just dip them in more melted butter... ) 

Bring whipping cream to a simmer in large saucepan. Remove from heat; add in the chocolate and coffee liqueur. Whisk until chocolate is melted and ganache is smooth. Resist the urge to dip your fingers in and eat it. 
Pour 2 cups ganache over bottom of crust. Freeze until ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes. 

Reserve remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature to use later for creating lattice pattern.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Using an electric or stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until blended.  Beat in flour. 

Stir rum, espresso powder, ground coffee, vanilla, and molasses in small bowl until instant coffee dissolves; beat into cream cheese mixture. 

Beat in eggs 1 at a time, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl.

Pour filling over cold ganache.  Place cheesecake on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until top is brown, puffed and cracked at edges, and center 2 inches moves only slightly when pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 5 minutes.  You don't need a water bath for this cheesecake because we're covering the top, so the cracks don't matter. 

Transfer cheesecake to rack. Cool 15-20 minutes while preparing topping (note that the top of cheesecake will fall slightly,this is normal).  Leave the oven on, still at 350. 

Whisk sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. Pour topping over hot cheesecake, spreading to cover filling completely. Bake until topping is set, about 10 minutes. (You can turn the oven off now) 

Transfer cheesecake to rack and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. 

Run small sharp knife between crust and pan sides to loosen cake; release pan sides.  I just leave the bottom part of the pan attached to the cheesecake. I am WAY to afraid of taking the cheesecake off of the metal disk. If you want to try it, you can feel free but it's perfectly OK to leave it on the bottom of the pan. 

Spoon reserved ganache into pastry bag fitted with small star tip.

Pipe 6 diagonal lines atop cheesecake, spacing 1 inch apart. Repeat in opposite direction, making lattice. Pipe rosettes of ganache around top edge of cake.  Chill until lattice is firm, at least 6 hours. Wrap loosely in foil, forming dome over lattice; keep refrigerated) 

Recipe adapted from

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